A lot has changed with building websites over the years. Back when we first started in 2005, you needed to know how to code in order to build a website. The process of setting up a server, configuring the platform (or coding the environment), and setting up hosting was involved. This didn't even include design and functionality requirements, which often had to be custom built.
Now, website builders have made it so they are beginner-friendly, and they handle a lot of the more complex parts that are involved with a website (security, hosting, page load speed, etc.) There's now templates available, and it's much easier to change your color scheme, fonts and design elements.
This means that you have more control over your website, and don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get online. We hope this post encourages entrepreneurs and small business owners to take the next step and get themselves online!
Here's an overview of the best website builders for small businesses in 2022:
As a Wix Legend Expert, we'll be the first to say we're a little biased here, but after using countless platforms over the 17 years we've been in business, Wix has become our favorite platform for small businesses.
Wix makes getting a professional, easy-to-navigate website online fast. They have the Wix Editor and Editor X available, which provides an adaptive design option - sometimes referred to as "absolute positioning" (the site will be mobile friendly across devices, but not responsive), as well as a responsive option with Editor X. The drag and drop editor might take some time to learn if you're new to a web builder, but once you do, you'll have a ton of freedom with the designs you can create.
They also offer great performance with fast loading speeds, built-in SEO capabilities to optimize your site for search, site security, multi-cloud hosting to ensure your website stays up even during spikes of traffic, and providing accessibility tools so you can make your site accessible to all.
Squarespace is like Wix in that it's a hosted website builder that comes with built-in options such as pre-built templates, blogging capability, portfolios, SEO & marketing tools. You don't have to worry about updating plugins, and your design will be responsive (rather than adaptive like Wix).
The downside when compared to Wix is that there are more options for customization with Wix than with Squarespace. Many of the websites you'll see on Squarespace are more design or portfolio based with unique layouts. Now this offers a unique look and feel, but as a result, many websites end up being more difficult to navigate. This can impact user engagement and on-site conversions.
Both Wix and Squarespace offer access to stock photography with free image options, as well as the choice of purchasing stock photography. This makes populating your site with content quick and easy.
We like that both Wix and Squarespace gives more control to the small business owner. Rather than feeling beholden to a developer or agency, you can learn how to make updates and market your website yourself. It is our belief that this is incredibly important before you decide to hire someone inhouse, or delegate managing and marketing your website, so you have a solid foundation of your platform and how marketing works.
Unlike Wix, Squarespace does not offer a free plan, but instead a time-limited free trail.
WordPress is different from Wix and Squarespace in that it's an open source platform that is going to require either you or a developer to maintain the environment.
Unlike both Wix and Squarespace, WordPress gives you the option of switching between templates. It's not to say that you can't create a new design with Wix or Squarespace, but it's not as easy to do a complete redesign.
There is a steeper learning curve with WordPress than there is with the other two platforms. If you want a drag and drop style editor with WordPress, you'll have to find a plugin that works with your environment. A few examples of these are Divi, Beaver Builder, and Elementor.
This being said, what you get with WordPress is more customization when it comes to design and functionality. If you are someone who is very particular about how their site looks or functions, and is not willing to compromise and use existing tech, WordPress might be the better option for you.
Just keep in mind that there will be more costs involved to build, host, maintain and update your WordPress site.
Focus on Making Progress & Getting Online
Whichever website builder you end up choosing, focus on seeing it through and get online. You'll never know if your business idea has potential until you launch your website and start promoting it.
So many business owners get hung up on making their website "perfect" that they put off launching until their resources and passion eventually runs out. Instead, get your site online and start gathering valuable data so you can make data-driven improvements. This also means that you can be building awareness and making money in the meantime!
Need Help Creating Your Website?
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